When my parents came to visit in July and brought me my lovely window covering, I noticed there were moments when my dad eerily reminded me of my Grandpa Gerald. It was little things; like the fact that they have the exact same hands. And at times, both of them have lost or nearly lost some of the fingers on those hands when doing odd jobs.
Dad and Grandpa Gerald
But on the day Dad was hanging the shade on my window, it was the fact that he talked the entire time he was putting it up. Not talking to anyone... just quietly talking his way through it. It went something like this (quietly murmuring while half biting his tongue):
"Let's see, if a guy just moves this over a bit... then I'll need this screw... and go like this... and then it just needs a push..."
I couldn't resist the urge to tease him about it, which was really nice considering he was doing all the work and I was sitting on the couch doing nothing. But it was in that moment I realized how much I missed dad talking to himself while doing things. It was like a quiet murmur in the background of my childhood, and I imagine it was the same in his childhood as well.
Because my Grandpa likes to talk... whether it's murmuring to himself while doing woodworking projects or just telling grand stories. For the record they don't have to be true stories... just grand. And sometimes with an Irish accent thrown in for good measure. When I was little they were sometimes stories that weren't supposed to be told in front of children, which would cause a loud, "Gerald!" to be exclaimed by my Grandma as she'd shake her head and retreat to another room. That man is a character.
And he's a character that turns 87 years old today. In those 87 years he has had 9 children, 35 grandchildren and almost 41 great-grandchildren (thanks to my expectant cousin Maria). That's a legacy to be proud of. And I'm thinking of him today as I'm writing this story and muttering to myself while half biting my tongue: "Let's see... change the date... italicize this... hit publish post..."
You'll just have to imagine the Irish accent.